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Le Bec Fin: Great food, with a big BUT(T)...
Sure, it's an institution, the 5 star (we don't have Michelin grading in the US) French "best in Philadelphia", "best on the East Coast, etc restaurant... Chef/owner Georges Perrier (no relation to the water brokers) almost had a heart attack when he temporarily lost the 5th star, and has made renovations, etc to brush off the cobwebs.
Mind you, the food is outrageously fantastic. The dessert cart (all you can eat!!) alone is worth the price. But there are issues that make this into less than a five star experience for me.
1) I'm a busy guy - I have trouble arranging my schedule a week from now - I can't plan dinner 2-3 months in advance.
2) I feel like I'm in a church there. People talk in hushed tones. No one laughs. Very serious stuff.
3) Lawyers eat there a lot. I don't like to be around them.
4) The 5 course prix fix dinner is WAY too filling. I have never left there feeling normal, I don't sleep well that night, and it usually requires me to skip my next meal and feel real guilty about all the fat I must have eaten.
So, let me make a suggestion - this really is a place you should eat a least once. Make it on a special occasion - anniversary, etc -(but skip a meal beforehand, and don't finish late)
*OR* eat there for lunch. Leave enough time so you can have a leisurely meal (lunch is 3 courses). The price is very resonable (I think $45) and it is much easier to get a reservation.
Favorite Dish: The dessert cart!!! But usually I don't have much room..
- Food and Dining
Le Bec Fin: Michelin Stars
I read a previous comment that said that Michelin stars are not used in the States. I just wanted to say that that comment is incorrect. There are five 3-star Michelin restaurants in the US and a few other 2-star and 1-star. Le Bec Fin is not even rated. If you want a phenomenal dinner and you are from the Philadelphia area, head up to New York and try Per Se (French Laundry's sister restaurant). Also, there are some great restaurants in Atlantic City now; none are of Michelin quality, but some are good. If you would like to try one, I would recommend Bobby Flay's Steak in the Borgata. Sea Blue (Michael Mina's creation) was good but not great.
Le Bec Fin: The critics' choice
This place is consistently ranked among the best restaurants in the whole country. It's outrageously expensive if you eat in the dining room, but head downstairs to the basement and it's just really expensive (that's better than outrageously expensive). Le Bec Fin's world renowned chef, Georges Perrier, is pretty much a snooty jerk, but hey, he makes good food.
Le Bec Fin: AN EXPENSIVE, PRETENTIOUS MEDIOCRITY
Le Bec Fin receives national attention for its kitchen. I made my reservation months in advance in anticipation for a fantastic meal. While my bill for dinner was close to $350.00, the food, service, and ambience were all quite disappointing. Le Bec Fin falls way short of any Michelin starred restaurant in Europe. The service was pseudo elegant, yet truly amateurish in its total affect. The servers knowledge of the food, wine, and cheese course was minimal at best. The food, while quite good, was no where near worth the price paid. I do not mind paying a lot of money for great food. Le Bec Fin did not meet my expectations.
Favorite Dish: The appetizers were the best part of the meal.
Le Bec Fin: The best restaurant.
The private dinning room we were in was incredible. The walls were covered with an amazing mural. You feel transported to France.
The food was a sensation. These impeccable platters would almost magically appear. One after the other, covered with the most wonderful courses.
Favorite Dish: Would be impossible to pick just one. We had Chefs choice served to the table.
Amongst the delectables were
Foie Gras, Coquilles St. Jacques and Game Hens.
Le Bec-Fin is Price-Fix I believe it is about $130-150 for dinner.
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